- 95,00 kr
The Sunday Times Bestseller and BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick 2020.
For readers of Circe and The Handmaid’s Tale, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies is a story about a love that could prove as dangerous as it is powerful.
Winter, 1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Vardø is now a place of women.
Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of the island to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs . . .
'Beautiful and chilling' – Madeline Miller, author of Circe
'Took my breath away' – Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring
This dark, dramatic historical from Hargrave (The Girl of Ink & Stars) begins on Christmas Eve 1617 when 40 men from Norway's remote island settlement of Vard die in a storm at sea, setting in motion events that lead to witch trials and executions. Maren Magnusdatter, age 20, having lost her father, brother, and fianc in the storm, lives quietly in Vard with her mother and sister-in-law Diinna, of the S mi people. That changes with the arrival of noted witch-hunter Commissioner Absalom Cornet, who comes from Scotland with his Norwegian wife, Ursa, to root out nonbelievers. Unused to such meager conditions, Ursa hires Maren to help her with household chores. Their friendship grows, as does Ursa's fear of her husband, an enthusiastic participant in the branding, strangling, and burning of suspected witches. Encouraged by the feudal lord who brought him to Vard , Cornet seeks out nonchurchgoers in a crusade against evil that puts Diinna and other S mis at risk. Eventually, Cornet arrests two local widows, tortures and burns them at the stake, then comes to arrest Maren, while Maren and Ursa turn to each other for affection and support. Hargraves's tale offers a feminist take on a horrific moment in history with its focus on the subjugation of women, superstition in isolated locations, and brutality in the name of religion. This is a potent novel.